Deandre Ayton has never had a problem speaking his mind.
That certainly held true on the first day of training camp Tuesday as the Phoenix Suns big man said he and head coach Monty Williams haven’t spoken since losing Game 7 of the Western Conference semifinals to Dallas at Footprint Center.
“I haven’t spoken to Monty,” Ayton said at the team’s practice facility. “I haven’t spoken to him at all. Ever since the game.”
When asked if he hopes that changes soon, Ayton said, “I’m here.”
Ayton said he’s ‘alright’ when asked if he was happy, but talked about focusing on basketball.
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“When I’m between those lines, I’m here to work,” Ayton said. “I’m not playing for myself. I have an organization across my chest and a name on my back I have to represent. I’m just here to work.”
Ayton later added, “I just haven’t spoken to the man. A disagreement? I don’t know anything about that.”
The Suns can trade Ayton starting Jan. 15, but he can veto any trade for a year.
In the meantime, Ayton has a clear goal for this season.
“Taking over the whole thing,” said Ayton, who has averaged a double-double in each of his four NBA seasons after being the top overall pick in the 2018 draft out of Arizona. “I know how dominant I am.”
May 15, 2022; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Phoenix Suns head coach Monty Williams pulls center Deandre Ayton (22) from the game against the Dallas Mavericks during game seven of the second round for the 2022 NBA playoffs at Footprint Center.
About 10 minutes later, Williams conducted his post-practice interview and was asked if he and Ayton needed to have a 1-on-1 conversation in the near future.
“I think there are times for that,” Williams said. “I think there are 1-on-1s that are always needed between guys I have been around for awhile. Some players need it, some players don’t. I’ll identify that as the season progresses.”
Williams doesn’t see this becoming a lingering problem if he and Ayton don’t talk.
“Not at all,” said Williams, the…
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Author : USA TODAY Sports
Publish date : 2022-09-28 01:08:29
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